Homeless, all alone and facing an uncertain future, black Labrador/German Shepherd mix Remi was rescued by Tom Dropik of New Prague, MN in September of 2010. Remi had been bounced from home to home because of his size and his abundant energy level. "He runs like the wind. People couldn't handle him," Tom explains. A local dog rescue organization asked Tom if he would be interested in adopting the dog. Tom agreed but only on a temporary basis at first. "I hated to see him put down," he says. The beautiful black dog quickly won his heart with his great canine personality and his promise.
Tom worked with the canine and after 5 months, he began entering Remi in dock jumping events in Canton, Ohio. Remi's best event is the Speed Retrieve. Speed Retrieve tests the dog's speed swimming abilities. With a running start, the dogs run down a 20-foot dock and jump into a pool. They are timed on how quickly they are able to retrieve the training dummy. Remi was able to reach the dummy in 4.871 seconds. Last year, Remi broke the Indoor Speed Retrieve World Record with a 4.442 second run and the Outdoor Speed Retrieve World Record with a 4.831 second run.
Tom knows a little about the Dock Dogs sports. After watching a dog-jumping competition on ESPN called Great Outdoor Games, he was intrigued. "My dog, Tucker, used to jump up and pick apples off the tree to eat,'' he said. "I called ESPN and told them my dog can do this, and they said I had to qualify in Little Rock, Ark. So we drove 14 hours so Tucker could jump off the dock.'' Tucker qualified for the games, held that year at Lake Placid, N.Y. "It was prime time TV,'' Dropik said. "We finished third.'' He was hooked. "It's very addictive. There's nothing else like it,'' he said.
In the DockDogs competition, dogs compete in four events: "big air," a distance-leap into the pool of water, "extreme vertical," measures how high a dog can jump up in the air, and "speed retrieve," measures how fast the dog can get across 40 feet of water to get a retrieving dummy. The forth event is called Iron Dog, which is a combination of those three events.
Well-known in the sport, Tom also has a young Lab named RJ that placed third in the Extreme Vertical in the World Championships. "He's an up-and-coming superstar,'' he said. "I just love working with these dogs."
You are cordially invited to attend the nationally recognized Dock Dogs competition that will be held this weekend at Care-A-Lot Pet Supply in Virginia Beach, VA. The 2013 Pet Lover's Extravaganza will offer canine participants the chance to compete in several events, including Outdoor BIG AIR®, Speed Retrieve and Extreme Vertical. There will also be many events for non-jumping dogs. Stop by and enjoy anniversary sales and specials. Fun for the entire family!